Developmental Themes

All Commonwealth Scholarships which are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) are offered under six development themes.

Science and technology for development

Commonwealth Scholarships are offered in any area of science or technology (including, for example, agriculture, veterinary science, or forestry), to develop knowledge and/or skills that are directly related to the specific needs of a low or middle-income country. Where possible, applications should cite expressed national or local priorities.

Strengthening health systems and capacity

In order to improve health provision or outcomes for disadvantaged groups in low and middle income countries, Commonwealth Scholarships support the development of knowledge and/or skills across a range of approaches. These approaches include training staff to fill critical shortage areas; establishing better systems, processes, or management; health promotion and improving understanding of non-take up; and developing new treatments.

Promoting global prosperity

Commonwealth Scholarships help to support economic prosperity in low and middle income countries. The knowledge and/or skills gained could lead to, for example, enhanced trade capacity; improved economic understanding or decision-making by business or government; new products and services; or long-term capacity building, for example through the development of entrepreneurial skills.

Strengthening global peace, security and governance

Commonwealth Scholarships develop knowledge and/or skills which will strengthen peace and security at national, regional, or international levels. Multiple approaches are studied and implemented by our Scholars, such as strengthening open and transparent governance; improving mutual understanding within and between societies; or building systems that reduce the potential for conflict or encourage its resolution.

Strengthening resilience and response to crises

Commonwealth Scholarships are awarded in subjects that address a broad range of threats, including natural and physical disasters; long-term threats such as climate change; interruptions to the supply of key resources; and sudden economic or technological disruption.
and developing new treatments.

Access, inclusion and opportunity

Commonwealth Scholarships help to promote opportunity amongst historically disadvantaged groups in low and middle income countries. Our Commonwealth Scholars expand educational opportunities; conduct community outreach; enhance access to decision-making; and increase understanding of the barriers faced. A range of disadvantage is addressed through our Commonwealth Scholars’ work – including social, economic, gender, ethnic, regional, and political.

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